By Adam Shapiro
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Continuing its tradition of encouraging creativity and building effective institutions to help address some of the world's most challenging problems, the John D. and Catherine T. MacArthur Foundation announced today that 11 organizations in six countries will receive the MacArthur Award for Creative and Effective Institutions. The Awards recognize exceptional Foundation grantees and help ensure their sustainability with grants of $350,000 to $1 million each, a large sum given that recipients' annual operating budgets are under $5 million.

The organizations' missions are diverse – from protecting biodiversity in Bhutan to fighting poverty in the U.S., from analyzing how tax policy impacts people to improving maternal and child health among India's impoverished. Still, they have much in common. All are highly creative and effective organizations that have made a remarkable impact in their fields, driving significant change on modest budgets. Groups will use their awards for a range of purposes, including purchasing office space, upgrading technology, and constructing a library and conference space.

“These exceptional organizations effectively address pressing national and international challenges and they have had an impact that is disproportionate to their small size,” said MacArthur President Robert Gallucci. “The MacArthur Foundation is proud to recognize them. It is our hope that these Awards will help position them for long-term growth and even greater impact in the years ahead.”

The recipients of the MacArthur Award for Creative and Effective Institutions are:

· Action Research & Training for Health – Rajasthan, India ($350,000)

Action Research & Training for Health promotes sexual and reproductive health, neonatal and child health, and health systems and policy in India's predominantly rural Rajasthan state.

· Arms Control Association – Washington, DC ($500,000)

The Arms Control Association works to reduce the threats posed by the world's most dangerous weapons through analysis, research, and outreach.

· Bay Area Video Coalition – San Francisco, CA ($1,000,000)

The Bay Area Video Coalition works at the intersection of film, digital media, and technology to help artists and film producers create civic-minded media projects that reach broad audiences and that educate and inspire action.

· National Alliance of Latin American & Caribbean Communities – Chicago, IL ($350,000)

The National Alliance of Latin American and Caribbean Communities supports the well-being and political and social empowerment of immigrants in the U.S. and in their home countries through public dialogue, policy work, and transnational organizing.

· REDRESS – London, England ($500,000)
REDRESS fights for justice for torture survivors by holding perpetrators and complicit governments accountable, monitoring compliance with international law, and helping victims gain greater involvement in national and international justice processes.

· The Royal Society for Protection of Nature – Thimphu, Bhutan ($350,000)

The Royal Society for Protection of Nature is Bhutan's only national non-profit focused primarily on the conservation of the country's famed environment and biodiversity.

· Sargent Shriver National Center on Poverty Law – Chicago, IL ($1,000,000)

The Sargent Shriver National Center on Poverty Law is a leader in fighting poverty and advocating for low-income people across the U.S., through policy development, litigation, public education, information sharing, legal work, and media outreach.

· The Social and Economic Rights Action Center – Lagos, Nigeria ($350,000)

The Social and Economic Rights Action Center is a leading African organization that protects the internationally-recognized economic, cultural, and social rights of marginalized people through advocacy, mediation, and litigation.

· The Sociedad Mexicana Pro Derechos de la Mujer – Mexico City, Mexico ($750,000)

The Sociedad Mexicana Pro Derechos de la Mujer (Mexican Society for Women's Rights) protects the rights of Mexican women – with a focus on the reproductive rights and health of rural indigenous women – through leadership development, advocacy, and grantmaking.

· Urban-Brookings Tax Policy Center – Washington, DC ($1,000,000)

Urban-Brookings Tax Policy Center, a joint project between with the Urban Institute and Brookings Institution, provides non-partisan, credible information on tax policy and the outcomes of different tax proposals.

· The W. Haywood Burns Institute – San Francisco, CA ($750,000)

The W. Haywood Burns Institute works to improve the well-being of low-income youth, youth of color, and their communities by reducing racial and ethnic disparities in the juvenile justice system.

In making these Awards, the Foundation does not seek or accept nominations. To qualify, organizations must demonstrate exceptional creativity and effectiveness; have reached a critical or strategic point in their development; have budgets under $5 million; show strong leadership and stable financial management; have previously received MacArthur support; and engage in work central to one of MacArthur's core programs.

Winners of the Award with operating budgets under $750,000 receive $350,000 grants. Those with operating budgets between $750,000 and $1.5 million receive $500,000. Those with operating budgets between $1.5 million and $3 million receive $750,000. And those with operating budgets between $3 million and $5 million receive $1 million.

MacArthur has a long history of strengthening institutions – from Human Rights Watch, now the largest U.S.-based human rights organization, to the World Resources Institute, the environmental think tank, to Creative Commons, which has changed the way we use and think about copyrights.

Additional information about the winners is available at